Humanities Event

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Saturday, October 28, 2017 1:30 PM3:00PM
John F. Gallagher served over thirty years on the Boston Police Department and retired at the rank of superintendent. As a command staff member, he was the department's chief of detectives. His interest in history and genealogy and his background in criminal investigation motivated him to write about these century-old murders on the South Shore. John and his wife, Jeanne, live in Hanover, Massachusetts. Gallagher published his third book, "A Monument to Her Grief: The Sturtevant Murders of Halifax, Massachusetts." Nearly 150 years ago, the Massachusetts state constabulary launched an investigation into the brutal murders of three elderly people at their farmhouse on Thompson Street in rural Halifax. The story of the murders and the aftermath has been passed down through the generations and has become part of local lore. Until now, no comprehensive, definitive account has been published. To fully disclose what happened, and why, required extensive research into the holdings of the Halifax Historical Society and Museum, contemporaneous news accounts, court and prison records, town histories, census returns, vital records, archival manuscripts, case law, and other documentary evidence. A genealogical study of the principal characters in the story helped in sorting out the intertwined relationships common to small communities of the era, giving shape to the characters' lives leading up to the murders, and lending context to the hard facts of the case. Refreshments will be served at 1:30 pm with the talk to begin at 2 pm.